3713 SO GEORGE MASON DR. APT ***
FALLS CHURCH, VA 22041
I'm writing the same letter to you. Don, LG sent me your letter
about Monkey Point since I had recounted to him, perhaps too
many times, my memories of that tragic day. Having also received
your letter on the same subject gives me the opportunity to
share those memories with you.
Before we went to Corregidor I was scheduled to replace
Charles(?) Rice as B Company's second platoon sergeant, but
there was a delay in his orders. I ended up as his assistant,
but he didn't need much assistance so I jumped in whenever sane
back up was needed. That worked out just as well in the end
because just before we started around Malinta Hill, a
reinforcing bar that I had been using to swing around the corner
of Wheeler Battery pulled out of the concrete. The bar, a chunk
of concrete and I dropped about 12-15 feet onto a pile of
cement, steel bars and other unfriendly materials. I was
fortunate to suffer only some lacerated skin and a badly twisted
left ankle. A tall, skinny, red-headed medic (whose name LG
probably knows) taped me up but I couldn't run worth a damn. I
had traded my Thompson for an M1 and a pile of rifle grenades.
(Yes, LG, I also took some of the special cartridges and didn't
to use ball
ammo.) It came in handy as we sealed the caves around Malinta
Hill with help of "our" M4 tank.
After we deployed on the East side of Malinta Hill, B Co on the
left (North) and A Co on the right (South) had the mission
of clearing the rest of the island. For some reason, the tank,
as I recall, stayed mostly on the road in the A Co area.
remember that our first real objective was what we've since
called Water Tower Hill, although I don't find it on any map. LG
- wasn't that where Kaczor got his? There were two or three
troopers who were lightly wounded or injured who were assigned
to me to help me maintain contact with A Co. It was a cute idea
but didn't work out in practical terms. It was then that Col
Jones decided that he could get a great view toward the east
from the top of the water tower itself. We had not secured any
of the area beyond there. I was afraid that if Jones was shot up
there that we'd come under authority of Joe Lawry, or my buddy
Cates or some other rectum so I climbed to the top of the
tower, too. Two of my lame and lazy guys came up as well as a
medic from Hq 1st, whom LG also probably knows. He was fairly
tall, dark skinned and was assigned to B Co from time to time.
Jones was standing there like a male statue of liberty and I
think, but I'm not sure, that he was looking through his
binoculars. His staff, who was staying on the ground and the
west (friendly) side of the tower, shouted up that the navy
wanted to fire at a group of 40 enemy. Jones said no; he really
hated the navy after they drowned one of our B Co troopers when
we landed to take the radio station at Palauan the month before.
(He still gets mad when we mention that!) Meanwhile, we were
starting to hear those nasty cracks when projectiles pass close
enough to break the sound barrier, just a few individuals were
shooting their rifles at us in a decidedly unfriendly gesture.
Jones then shouted down a fire order that I never understood -
first some minutes of destroyer and arty fire, then some minutes
of mortars, then MG fire until we get the order to advance.
Anyway, the medic took a round in the arm hard moot to knock him
down, but fortunately not off the top of the tower. I